Cardio workout or exercises, what is it, why do athletes in bodybuilding need them and, in general, people who care about the state of their body? It is best to start the explanation with the basics, namely theory. So, this type of exercise means almost all cyclical repetitive movements, during which muscles receive energy mainly due to the oxidation of fats with oxygen. They relate to aerobic exercise and, for maximum benefit, should be performed at a heart rate of 60-90 percent of the maximum allowable values:
- 60-70% – low training intensity;
- 70-80% – indicators with moderate training;
- 80-90% – high intensity training.
Calculating the maximum permissible heart rate (HR), the boundaries of which correct and effective cardio exercises in no case violate, by the way, is quite simple. For this, a simple formula is used – 220 minus your age. That is, at the age of 35, the maximum allowable heart rate is approximately 185 beats per minute, at the age of fifty – 170 beats per minute, etc.
What is Cardio and What are its Benefits?
What are these classes for? The question, in principle, is not as difficult as it might seem. Cardio exercises, performed in or outside of sports, are primarily aimed at strengthening the human cardiovascular system. As a result of their systematic implementation, the heart muscle becomes more stable and strong, which allows the heart to work, so to speak, more economically – to push out large volumes of blood in one contraction than it usually does. All this has a positive effect on the resource of the heart.
Exercises for cardio workout, in addition to having a positive effect on the cardiovascular system (cardiovascular system), also generally have a positive effect on the body and the general condition of a person. They increase immunity, regulate blood sugar levels, normalize the activity of the digestive and endocrine systems, strengthen and develop the musculoskeletal system, reduce the so-called “bad cholesterol” in the blood, increase overall vitality and mood, and relieve stress.
And, of course, do not forget that cardio exercises are simply irreplaceable for weight loss. Performing them correctly, listening to the recommendations, you can in a fairly short time get rid of, if not all the excess mass, then at least significantly reduce the excess weight. Moreover, this is true not only for girls, but also for men. Aerobic exercise, you know, is beneficial regardless of gender, age, and other factors.
Here it is important to clarify what kind of sports activities are cardio exercises for burning fat and, in general, for strengthening the body? Cardio includes: vigorous or athletic walking, Nordic walking, aka walking with poles, running, swimming, rowing, skating and skiing (or simulating exercises on the simulator). Also – classical aerobics and step aerobics, jumping rope, and even to some extent dancing.
Which cardio exercises for weight loss should you choose? This is a purely personal matter. What you can do, what gives you more pleasure, so do it. However, before that, be sure to consult your doctor, especially for men and women of age whose body is not young and may not be able to cope with such loads.
In general, for beginners who have never been fond of sports, perhaps the best cardio exercises are those that are based on walking. They do not require special equipment and are easy to learn. Cycling, swimming and aerobics are also great choices. For experienced athletes, we can advise training on simulators that simulate rowing, cycling or running. In other words, athletes are encouraged to choose cardio exercises in the gym, where they can find equipment according to their needs and capabilities – like a treadmill, exercise bike, rowing machine, etc.
Please note that in bodybuilding, athletes often combine strength exercises and exercises for cardio workout, since this technique allows you to achieve better weight loss and improve the quality of muscles. Such workouts are usually carried out according to the following scheme: the first 10-15 minutes are devoted to cardio as a warm-up, then strength training lasts about an hour, at the end – again cardio for about 15-20 minutes.
Correct and Effective Cardio Workout for Weight Loss
Now about all of the above, but in more detail and with additions. So, as already noted, cardio workouts in bodybuilding, and in general, can be both an independent exercise and an addition to strength training. We have already described the scheme, but in addition, we will say that everything does not have to be this way, because in some cases athletes alternate days when strength exercises are carried out with days of cardio, and do not combine them.
It is important to point out: in order for a cardio workout, created for girls or for men, to be effective in terms of weight loss and strengthening the body, it must last at least half an hour. Usually this is 30-40 minutes of classes. For those who have not previously been intensely fond of sports, exercises that imply walking on sticks or regular vigorous / race walking are almost ideal. At the initial stage of training, it is recommended to carry out 2-3 times a week. In the future, with the advent of experience and a noticeable improvement in physical fitness, the number of classes can be increased up to 4-5 per week.
Note that you can gradually increase not only the number of workouts, but also the load, but you just need to do it correctly, otherwise the consequences cannot be avoided. In particular, men and women between the ages of 35-40 are advised to increase the load, which implies cardio workout for weight loss, fat burning and other purposes, by increasing the intensity. What is it about? About the fact that if you used to run a 5-kilometer distance, say, in 24 minutes, then with the advent of experience you need to strive for a faster time – first to 22 minutes, then to 20, and so on.
There is another way that your cardio workout on a treadmill or just on a run can become more effective – this is to maintain the same running speed, but increase the distance covered. First we ran 5 kilometers, then 6, etc. However, in both the first and second cases, you should know the norm. Do not overload the body in pursuit of rapid progress. Your “sports greed” can backfire unpleasantly.
Cardio workout for weight loss can also help to achieve excellent results using the interval method, when high intensity load (heart rate – about 80% of the maximum allowable values) alternates with a low intensity load (heart rate – about 60-70% of the maximum permissible indicators). The effect of this type of exercise is very strong, but they are not suitable for everyone, but only for physically hardened men and women.
A few words about what types of cardio workouts are, and how they differ from each other. The first type is a long-term workout for burning fat, and more. It is also known as steady state cardio or long distance cardio. What’s the point? In regular exercises with the same load over a long period of time – usually about 20-60 minutes without interruption.
Cardio workouts for heart and supercharged fat burning is an aerobic workout scheme that involves alternating periods of cardio with short periods of anaerobic exercise (resistance training, etc.). For example, you do exercises on an elliptical trainer for about three minutes, squat after one minute, then spend three minutes on a treadmill, and at the end do leg presses for one minute.
The third type is cross-cardio workouts in bodybuilding (optional), which involve alternating cardio workouts for different periods or seasons. Note that they can be performed according to three different schemes:
- The first scheme – alternating loads during one workout (5-10 minutes of running, 5-10 minutes of cycling, 5-10 minutes on an elliptical trainer);
- The second scheme is the daily alternation of loads (it seems that a deeper description is not required here);
- Scheme three – seasonal workout change. In the summer you swim, in the fall you run, in the winter you do skiing exercises, etc.
There are also interval cardio workouts, which are most suitable for weight loss and children, but provide other significant improvements. We have already explained in detail a few paragraphs above, but in any case we will repeat ourselves. Basically, these are workouts that include short, high-intensity loads that are alternated with short rest periods or low-intensity loads.
Interval cardio workout is a great option for those men and women who are fed up with the monotony and want to somehow entertain themselves while exercising, in particular changing the intensity in the process. An obvious example here is jogging, where you run for 2 minutes at a speed of 15 kilometers per hour, and then a 3-minute rest in the form of jogging at a speed of about 8 kilometers per hour (or walking at a speed of about 5 km / h, who knows how) …
Finally, the last type that we would like to talk about is fartlek cardio workouts, which are quite popular in sports. What it is? This is a type of interval training during which there is a constant change in pace of movement. Note that fartlek implies a high degree of physical fitness, i.e. this type of exercise is not suitable for everyone, but only for physically developed people who have considerable reserves of endurance and strength, for example, women athletes and athletes.
How to Choose a Cardio Machine?
In recent years, men and women striving for weight loss prefer not to go to the gym, but to buy their own exercise machine in order to use it at the most convenient time for themselves. This approach has both advantages (saving time, convenience, etc.) and disadvantages (lack of an assortment of equipment, buying one specific cardio machine, for example, an exercise bike, you will have to practice exclusively on it). However, in any case, even if you decide to do this, do not forget that classes should be systematic. Doing races a month for 5 minutes, you will never achieve weight loss, let alone other improvements.
Let’s explain which machines are cardio machines suitable for burning fat and strengthening the heart. In principle, after reading the material up to this point, you should have already understood that cardio includes all kinds of sports equipment, which, acting on large muscle groups, allows you to perform cyclic movements for a long time. Among the simulators are a treadmill, an exercise bike, steppers that simulate the process of climbing stairs, elliptical trainers and some others.
All of the listed cardio weight loss machines work primarily on the lower body. However, there are those that load the muscles of the back, shoulder girdle, arms and abdominal muscles, in particular the rowing machine, which, despite the prejudices, is quite easy to learn and easy to use even for a beginner.
In addition, elliptical cardio machines equipped with handles are popular, suitable both for home and for training in the gym (many modern gyms are equipped with such “machines”). Exercising on them, a person effectively imitates the movements of a skier, as a result, the load goes on a large number of muscles, starting from the arms and ending with the legs, which means that the effect of the exercises is quite high.
Which cardio machine is right for you and which is the best one? The question, in fact, does not have a clear answer. The choice depends on your preference, overall health, and the areas of the body where the most fat is concentrated.
What is it about? About the fact that a treadmill is not suitable for a person whose excess weight has long exceeded 20 kilograms. For obese men and women, an exercise bike is considered by many to be the best choice. By the way, exercise bikes are both vertical and horizontal. They are created for people with serious diseases of the spine (not only). And there are still many such nuances. All of them must be taken into account if you want your training to be the most effective in the end.
Now let’s briefly discuss cardio machines for the home, which can also be found in the gym. Let’s highlight their pros and cons, if any. The first in line will be the treadmill. This simulator, like some others, is able to have a beneficial effect on the entire body. Compared to a bicycle “machine”, the load is lower here, mainly on the legs, in particular on the calves.
The load itself is quite low, but at the same time effective, providing high calorie expenditure. In other words, the cardio machine treadmill is one of the most “expensive” exercise machines that you can find, but does not strain the heart and the whole body in excess. Moreover, among its modes there is not only slow and fast running, but also walking, which allows you to regulate the level of intensity of exercise.
Another plus that this cardio machine for home boasts is its compactness. Most of the models are foldable, which allows them to be used even in small, confined spaces if necessary. In conclusion, we note that treadmills are of several types:
- The first are mechanical tracks. In such models, the movement is carried out due to the work of a person – the faster you run, the faster the track moves (the track spins up depending on the speed of the runner);
- The second are the more popular electric tracks. They are based on a special canvas and a computer coordinator, on which the required training program, distance, running speed and other parameters are set.
The second in order cardio machines for weight loss, which we will talk about in more detail, are steppers. They are very popular as home appliances because of their small size. Some models are additionally equipped with a pulse counter and load regulator. We recommend purchasing them, since the precise settings allow you to increase the effectiveness of the training being conducted.
Cardio machines such as exercise bikes are also quite popular. The demand for them is mainly due to its versatility: an exercise bike allows you to lose weight and maintain physical shape, which makes it a good option, both for people who are just starting to play sports and for experienced athletes. In turn, the elliptical cardio machines for the home, which many gyms are equipped with, boast such advantages as a complex load on different muscle groups and an increase in endurance.
Cardio Workout at Home
Is it possible to conduct the described activities without leaving home? As far as possible. At home, cardio workout, carried out for weight loss and strengthening the body, is based either on training carried out with the help of special machines, some of which have been described above, or on special exercises. If we are talking about simulators, then at home it is better to give preference to a treadmill or an exercise bike, you can also purchase a stepper – they are compact, easy to learn and quite effective.
If you do cardio workouts at home to burn fat, then you have it, and you want to do something about it. However, it should be understood that an unprepared body may not be able to cope with this kind of stress. In particular, an overweight person may not withstand joints, which will further result in complications (which is why many who have lost weight using a treadmill have joint diseases). So extra caution doesn’t hurt, and of course, don’t overload your body.
But what if there is a desire to do regular cardio workouts at home, but there are no simulators to do the exercises? You should not despair, because simulators are not at all necessary. Yes, they would make the task easier, but in no case would they become the only possible solution. So what’s the way out? It’s simple – “explosive” cardio exercises at home, suitable for both men and women, which have in common the instant effort, push and high speed of execution.
Homemade cardio exercises, example workout:
- Plyometric push-ups. To begin with, take a position identical to regular push-ups. At the same time, try to keep the body and legs in one line. After – slowly lower yourself until you reach with your nose to the cover, then push yourself as hard as possible so that your palms come off the floor. Ideally, you still need to make cotton, but if it doesn’t work out, then it’s okay – sooner or later you will be able to do everything as planned;
- Jumping out of a squat. A fairly simple home cardio exercise that is effective for weight loss. Step one – sit down and take your pelvis back. Step two – make sure your heels don’t come off the ground, don’t bend over. Step three – push off and jump out, pulling in your legs like a frog. Remember to land carefully;
- Exit to the lying position. Sit down and place your hands on the floor (your heels should not come off the surface). Shift your weight from your feet to your arms and jump slightly to straighten your legs. Then repeat the steps in the reverse order (return to a sitting position).
This is one example of how cardio workout at home and exercise can be done as effectively as in the gym. There are other complexes that are not inferior to the specified in productivity, for example, the so-called push-ups of a climber, the “fish-saw” exercise and running at a low start. Also, do not forget that jumping rope is also cardio. But, I think, you will find a suitable occupation even without our help.
We only add that the weight loss process, even if you train at home, can be simplified and accelerated. For this, effective pharmacological agents have long been created. Which ones? Visit our store to find out the answer to this question. By the way, the price of fat burners, as well as many other means that are effective in sports, are favorable with us. We also take care of service, reliability and many other factors.
Cardio Workout Plan & Rules
In the final part of the material, we will highlight some rules that are useful for everyone who plans to do cardio workouts for burning fat, but do not know where to start, which basics to adhere to.
What are cardio workouts for, what are the benefits of them? People who have carefully read the material already know the answer to this question, but we will tell the rest that with the help of the described activities you can achieve such improvements as:
- Losing weight, getting rid of excess fat;
- Strengthening the cardiovascular system;
- Increased lung capacity and increased endurance;
- Lowering blood pressure;
- Reducing the risk of diabetes and heart disease;
- Improving overall well-being, reducing stress, etc.
How long should a cardio workout take to burn fat and achieve other goals? Everything is more or less obvious here. Both cardio athletes and sports professionals agree that the optimal duration of training varies from 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the degree of preparation of a person, physical fitness, goals and some other indicators.
In turn, the best time for cardio workout is a more complicated question. Athletes have long been unable to come to a consensus. Some say that this kind of exercise is best done in the morning (this is the most popular point of view). Others insist that the optimal time is the afternoon, from about 4 pm to 6 pm. Still others say it’s best to do cardio in the evening, but not too late. We will assume that the best period and cardio workout plan is the one that is convenient for you. Can’t practice after lunch, practice sutra. And vice versa – there is no opportunity to train in the morning, so make time in the late afternoon.
We will write a separate item for meals after cardio workout and before classes. It is recommended to take food no later than 1.5-2 hours immediately before the event. At the end of it, you should wait 2-3 hours before eating, even if your appetite is very strong. Of course, your body will definitely declare the need to replenish energy reserves with food, but you should not give in to it, because in this case, the deficiency will be filled not due to excess fat, but due to the nutrients that you consume.
In general, we note that the nutrition, when cardio workouts are carried out, must be balanced and correct, otherwise they will not give the maximum effect. Eating unhealthy, fatty foods, you run the risk of giving up on your efforts. At the head of a healthy person’s table should be healthy and wholesome food, rich in vitamins, minerals and other beneficial structures that help strengthen the body.